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Reviewed by Asher Syed for Readers' Favorite
The Case of the Missing Department Head by David Staats is the story of lawyer Walter Dure, who takes on the case of Howard Houlihan, whose wife of 24 years, Tiffany, has been brutally murdered. There is no motive, no leads, no evidence, and no clues as to who might have done this to her – a homicide so dastardly that the late Mrs. Houlihan can only be cremated. Dure's job of mounting a defense for Mr. Houlihan becomes increasingly hard as he continues to do exactly the opposite of what his attorney tells him. “Some patients don't comply with prescribed treatment, causing headaches for doctors. Some clients don't follow legal advice, causing headaches for lawyers.”
The Case of the Missing Department Head by David Staats has all of the great hallmarks of a cozy mystery, but carries the weight and merit of a wholly engrossing crime fiction. Walter Dure is a lawyer who also takes on the role of quasi-detective, fishing out details and discussing events with anyone and everyone who may be associated with the crime, its victim, or its accused. Staats has done an excellent job of packing a huge punch in a novel that is shorter in length. I actually really liked Mr. Houlihan, frustrating and bumbling as he was...and all of the ancillary characters were equally appealing. The writing is sublime and nothing is given away prematurely - which I am always grateful for - making this book the perfect choice for an afternoon of murder, mystery, and an intriguing whodunit.